Cinnamon is a super tasty spice that can be used in a variety of meals, both sweet and savory. Not only does cinnamon add a ton of flavor to meals, it is also super good for you! Read below to learn the many health benefits of cinnamon.
Decreases fasting glucose
Studies have found that cinnamon can decrease fasting glucose. “Fasting glucose” is a measure of how high blood sugar is when you haven’t eaten anything for several hours. Too much sugar in the blood is highly inflammatory for the body and leads to other chronic conditions and diseases, most notably obesity and type 2 diabetes.1, 2, 3
Cinnamon has been found to increase HDL cholesterol (good cholesterol) and decrease both LDL cholesterol and triglyceride cholesterol (bad cholesterols). HDL cholesterol is heavily linked to heart health, and the higher the HDL better. Your HDL level may even be more tied to heart health than the other types of cholesterol. 3
May increase metabolism and fat burning
Rich in antioxidants
Cinnamon is packed with polyphenols, a type of antioxidant. Antioxidants help to fight off free radicals, and free radicals are factors that can cause cellular damage. We want to minimize cellular damage as much as we can because cell damage leads to disease and even cancer. 6
May improve insulin sensitivity
Insulin sensitivity means you need less insulin to get sugar out of the blood. With low insulin sensitivity, this means your blood doesn’t respond well to insulin, and this signals your pancreas to pump out even more insulin to be able to get sugar out of your blood. This is why we want a high insulin sensitivity (we want insulin to prevent overwhelming the pancreas), and cinnamon has been shown to possibly help with this. 9
The insulin-glucose relationship can be confusing, below breaks down in simple terms what is going on to help you understand better:
Insulin’s job is to get sugar out of the blood as quickly as possible, because too much sugar in the blood is highly toxic to the body. When blood sugar starts rising due to a meal high in carbs, this sends a signal to the pancreas to pump out insulin. Overtime If the blood is constantly being overloaded with sugar due to a high carb diet, the pancreas can’t keep up with this constant demand of pumping out more and more insulin. This results in high blood sugar at all times (because there is not enough insulin, and the pancreas gets tired of producing tons of insulin all the time), hence high fasting blood sugar as discussed above.
Helps to prevent Type 2 Diabetes
Type 2 diabetes is a disorder where your blood sugar is high at all times, and it is too high for insulin to adequately get the sugar out of the blood. Because cinnamon helps with fasting glucose, and because it may help increase insulin sensitivity, cinnamon can help to prevent type 2 diabetes. 7,8,9
Helps to prevent obesity
Cinnamon has been linked to increased metabolism, increased fat burning, increased insulin sensitivity, and lowering blood sugar. All of these factors help to prevent obesity and weight gain in general.
Cinnamon has been found to act as an anti-inflammatory. Chronic inflammation is basically the root cause of all chronic conditions, and minimizing inflammation in the body is key to a healthy body. 10,11
Good for your heart
Cinnamon is linked to heart health and a decrease in heart disease. Cinnamon helps to improve cholesterol levels, and it has anti-inflammatory effects, both of which are linked positively to heart health. 3 11
Cinnamon has many great health benefits, add a few dashes of cinnamon to your coffee or breakfast in the morning to start your day.